Last month the team at Indeed released their 2021 Hiring Trends Report. The report provided an effective follow up to their earlier piece on the Great Resignation which was referenced more than once in the study.
On a positive note, the Indeed study shows that the mass exodus of employees from the U.S. workforce, which saw a record 4.3 million departures in August, and now nearly 20 million in all in the 5-month period beginning April of this year, has the attention of employers of all sizes. 79% of their sample of more than 1,100 organizations ranging in size from small and medium enterprises to large corporations, said it has been difficult to hire recently. And with YPulse reporting in their 2021 Employment and Careers Report that 63% of employed 18-24-year-olds plan to get a new job within the next year, the rush to the exits is likely not over. Despite significant reporting across the media detailing what’s driving the Great Resignation, Indeed found that 84% of employers believe that health concerns are contributing to the ongoing labor shortage. Predictably then, their responses to the employment crisis, as reported by Indeed, has been hit and miss, leaving one to wonder whether they are fully paying attention to what workers are actually saying.
For example, while 71% of the Indeed sample reported that they are now offering flexible work scheduling to more employees now than before the pandemic. However, less than half, 49%, of those who had been formerly reluctant to offer remote work options are now doing so. Despite a recent poll from the folks at employee well-being provider, Limeade, which found that only about a third of Great Resignation departures are related to money, 45% of the Indeed sample are trying increased compensation as a means of keeping and attracting workers. And, besides some employers offering perks like free food and expanded education reimbursement, there was no mention of any initiatives tied to improving work culture, expanding access to mental health support, or reducing stress/burn-out which have been key themes associated with recent departures. Employers are, instead, focused more inwardly – a tact which, unless carefully navigated, can have the effect of making an already awful situation – 76% of the Indeed sample say that this has all impacted business negatively – worse.
Notably, the Indeed research found that 82% of employers plan to use tools like online assessments to measure candidate skills. The trouble is, there is little in the way of proof that these tools are actually predictive of success. Despite skyrocketing use of pre-hire assessments, still, according to LeadershipIQ, 46% of all new hires fail within the first 18 months. What’s more, many dislike pre-hire assessments, particularly when they precede human contact, do not align well with advertised role responsibilities, require significant time to complete, and/or do not include disclosure of results. What’s more, studies have shown that these assessments can reduce diversity of all kinds in workplaces that employ them resulting in buildings-full of people who not only look alike but who think alike and act alike as well. And with nearly 20% of the Limeade study’s sample citing discrimination as a reason for leaving their job, efforts made in the name of increased diversity – 95% of the Indeed sample is, of course, committed to hiring diverse talent – should actually achieve that goal, not work against it, and, certainly should not further aggravate an already irritated workforce.
82% of the Indeed respondents also report now using virtual interviews, citing benefits to their organization such as speedier hiring, which 74% of the sample cited. These businesses also believe that remote hiring is preferred by associates. However, according to a recent study by staffing firm, Yoh, the vast majority of 2,000 workers surveyed said they prefer in-person interviewing to virtual interviews. Similarly, Indeed’s own data found that only 37% feel less intimidated online versus in-person for example. So, the risk, for employers, in running ahead with initiatives which primarily benefit themselves may be that their employees and prospective hires fail to grasp the same level of enthusiasm. And in a period of already strained associate-employer relations, that’s not a good thing.
While the Indeed survey is but a single data point and one not entirely devoid of good news, it does offer pause. The report does point out for example that, “the majority (of employers) are taking this opportunity to rethink how and whom they hire.” This much is true. There are other reasons for hope as well, not the least of which is the sample’s heightened sensitivity to diversity. However, the clear lack of focus by employers on the core issues that are driving the Great Resignation and the fact that the actions they are taking could be as bad for employers as they are good is not a welcome sign.
Those employers, particularly the more nimble, small and medium sized enterprises, who actually listen to what exiting associates are saying, however, and who make things more about their associates than themselves are more likely to win. These are companies that truly care about the mental health of their associates. These are employers who work hard to create kinder, more caring cultures where associates feel they matter and have a greater say in the direction of the business. These are businesses that prioritize initiatives that make the lives of their associates better over those aimed at the enrichment of those who run the place. And these are businesses that never mistake the fact that all the money in the world won’t make going to a toxic workplace every day any more tolerable.
These businesses also listen to their customers and monitor their experience. The customer’s experience is shared with associate, since that is were the customer connection happens. Associates play a part in generating ideas to continually improve the customer’s experience. So how you hire is only the beginning. Managing the customer’s experience is a key element in your future success.
Want to know if your customers feel a connection to your business? Our database of over one million shoppers and our combine 60 years experience in the industry can help through Mystery Shopping, Customer Surveys or Competitive Audits just to name a few.